Saturday, January 20, 2018

Road to CA - Day 4 - Party TIme and the Vendor Mall

Party Time is one of the most fun events at Road..it is SUPER popular - evidenced by the number of requests begging for a spare ticket or two! 250 mostly ladies...at 25 tables, playing party games! Prizes are awarded...and there is chocolate! The vendors donate stuff for the prizes - Thank you, Vendors!!!

Here is the stuff I came home with...A Cuddle layer cake, a Machine Quilting magazine, a Stripology book, a crib size batting from Mountain Mist, a Road to CA folding bag (that makes 4 of them that I have now!), 3 fat quarters, a domestic machine ruler work ruler, a pair of super sharp embroidery scissors from Sharon Bradley and a Bohin purse pack...
 The purse pack has needles, a threader, a measuring tape, a pair of fairly sharp scissors and piece of very colorful woven ribbon..all in a cute folding bag..

I walked the vendor mall after my class until it was time to go to Party Time - 4pm to 6pm is the best time (only other better time is Sunday afternoon!) to visit the vendor mall..most of the crowds are gone and you can actually see the booths!...was only interested in a couple of things..I bought a 60 degree ruler - a small one - I figure if I need it longer, the long ruler placed over the edge will do the trick...and a sample pack of battings from The Batty Lady...Poor Batty Lady had their trailer stolen a couple of weeks ago..with 45K in merchandise in it...the trailer was recovered but it had nothing inside when it was found..The Batty Lady said she wished it had been the other way around - the trailer was 100% insured...but the merchandise was only 10%... 

Did see a wonderful applique pressing sheet  at the Sharon Bradley booth that I would love to have if it were not so pricey...its called Fusamat - it has wee little holes that make the fusible not leak out from behind the piece..and it is tacky - Sharon was able to lift up the pieces and all her pieces of the applique stayed stuck! 

I also watched a back basting demo..that lady uses a LARGE needle so it makes definite holes so you know where the edge is supposed to be lined up.

This is the kludged tote for my second class..not the evil one that tore up my back..This one is a laundry basket bungeed to the wheels of the ice chest..wish I had thought of this solution first...
Oh..and this year's tote bag from the Show...bag is canvas and the design just begs to be colored in! Which I presume I will do..but not today...

I am sitting here, wearing my Medieval Torture Device as a back brace. Evidently, its going to take at least 6 weeks to heal up..sigh....can't wait til Wednesday so I can get another massage..

Road to CA - Day 4 & 5 - Luminous Painted Ilusions

Oh...I loved this class with Esterita Austin...

This is a mono-printing technique developed by Esterita..You paint a picture on parchment paper using metallic Lumiere paints...you can enhance with other types of paints or inks - but the base has to be the metallic Lumiere...the painting is then fused to a super sheer nylon organza with MistyFuse...

First, you blow up your selected photo..mine was a picture of a Cape Daisy (or Osteospermum) that was taken by a friend at work:

Then you make a 'cartoon' by tracing over the major details of the subject using Sharpie on a piece of vinyl:

Then you paint over any spots that are going to need other types of paints using white pearlescent Lumiere as the base..you can see the center of the daisy is whitish...then you paint the lights and add layers to make the shading..this is before I added the purple:

 This is after I added the purple, finished the center, and added opaque white highlights and Sharpie 'Stained' accents. Also added some Inktense ink..- you use the Inktense blocks like water color paints...as long as its over the metallic Lumiere..it will transfer!


This piece was done in two chunks...the flower in front, and the background - you fuse the front piece first, then add the back piece..and if anything doesn't transfer, you add more MistyFuse and try again! 

This will get fused to cotton batting, and quilted..not sure if it will be quilted by Retreat or not, but it will be coming to Retreat!

Once again, I did not attend the preview show..it's such a madhouse! And..my back is still bothering me..

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Road To CA - Day 1 - Stained Glass Quilting, Allie Style

My contraption and I headed off to class bright and early Monday morning...unfortunately...the closest way to the doors at the Convention center was thru the parking lot..BAH!! my contraption did not keep up on the rough pavement! I ended up wrenching my back trying to keep the machine upright...and my poor back is still whining...

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Oh well..the class though was SPLENDID! I got to meet Allie Aller...and spent the day learning her Stained Glass Quilting techniques:

Here is a picture of the class and the lovelies created

This is my leaf block (with purple bells)


This is my exercise block for the leaves...looks kind of like Tiffany or vaguely Egyptian to me!


And this is my set of blocks from the morning


I  chose to do my 'leading'  in gold..the lady next to me used a Kaffe Facett print...I think the rest of the class used black.. You actually can use anything for the leading as long as it contrasts...and it does not have to be fabric...it can be ribbon, yarn, embroidery thread (the thicker stuff works better). 
The block with blue fabric was my 'trial' from home..I had a wee strip of stuff with fusible that I cut off the bigger block for the class...I had to find out the answers to several questions! Would my machine like stitching over this stuff - its a bit heavier than normal quilting cotton?... what color thread?... what stitching method was I going to use?  I tested narrow zigzag, wide zigzag, feather stitch, short stitch length, long stitch length, single row of straight and parallel straight... would my iron make marks or discolor the gold fabric and would my little Petite Press iron  get hot enough to do fusible?... turns out I had some gold Glide thread that was just right...my machine handles stitching on it just fine, I settled on the parallel straight stitching and the Petite Press works a treat and did not discolor the fabric! Saved me a bunch of 'experimenting' time in class...
I used my 'redneck turntable cutting mat' - an old lazy-susan rotating shelf that the top layer cracked off...with a small cutting mat on it..I think I am going to mount a real cutting mat piece on it..it works quite well!
I am thinking of adding leaves in the ombre blocks..and making it on-point by adding triangles to the sides..maybe the leaves will come in from the setting triangles..we shall see!
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I used the sidewalks on the trip back to the car..only had a small patch of pavement that I had to deal with..my back was on fire by then..

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Road to CA 2018

Road To CA 2018 starts Monday!!
I am taking a class on Monday - 'Stained Glass Quilting, Allie Style' from Allie Aller...
I am taking a class on Thursday-Friday - 'Lumionous Painted Illusions' from Esterita Austin....
Attending Party Time and the Jenny Doan lecture...
I shall be pooped by Saturday night!

Today I packed up for Allie's class..and boy...am I glad I did that today...
My sewing machine trolley broke an axle last Road To CA (in the middle of the road, mind you!! I was most displeased)...I 'fixed' it..but the wheels don't really turn too well and they are not something that can just be replaced...
I got a 'scoot around' a while back and have pressed it into service!


So the trolley is now sitting on top of the scoot around...I have it tied from one side handle to the other  with a piece of clothes line  thru those hand hold slots, snapped from the bottom to the top with two bungee cords (I was most fortunate to FIND the bungee cords!!) AND a lifting strap across the top...it's a kludge!
Took it out into my back patio and it works..well... well enough! At least it has the multi-directional spinner wheels...and if I go slow,  it's not too unstable..
I need a new trolley...sadly..I don't think they make this style of trolley anymore..it was a faithful workhorse for many a year...or I need to figure out how to get the bottom section OFF the current trolley and wire the scoot around to the bottom with maybe a piece of plywood for stability.. Project for another day...currently its packed for Monday's class..
Will have to get a picture of my contraption..

Embarrassingly, I find I forgot to post the rest of  last year's Road to CA show...chalk it up to not feeling well, I guess...it was a strange year...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Road to CA 2017 - Day 1

Class today was with Amanda Leins - Fundamentals of FMQ.


Enjoyed the class...hated the *(&#$( machine..the first half of the class, the machine I was on kept shredding the thread...I would be going along fine for a few minutes and blamo, it would shred and break. The tech changed the needle..that didn't help...she adjusted the height of the sensormatic foot...that didn't help...After lunch, I was able to move to a different machine - the lady next to me had to go home. Her machine worked fine! So I don't think it was anything I was doing (you have your doubts when its a strange machine!) Anyway, not feeling the love for Phaff machines, just sayin'

Amanda had this neato overhead camera gizmo that she could project up on the wall..with a Surface computer..I want one!! You can see it in the picture above..

Here are some of the practice drawings we did...


The color pencils show the order of how the motifs are to be sewn....I really like the loopys on the hooked feathers on the left side..

And my practice piece...not even half of the quilt sandwich I came with...


Oh..the air pressure in SoCal is so radically different today due to three back to back storms coming in  - the rest of the quilt show is going to be very, very soggy! Not attending the preview night this year..I have a monster headache. Hoping once it starts raining, the air pressure won't drop anymore.

Tomorrow I am going to see the quilts, go thru the vendor mall and attend Party Time - it's supposed to be a blast..there are prizes!

I had to repack all of my supplies for Friday's class..the wheelie case I have used for years decided it was a great time to break - right in the middle of crossing the road between the convention center and the parking lot! I don't think its repairable..I will just have to get a new set - wonder if they have any cases with the 360 wheels that I can afford.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fire Mountain Finished!

First finish of 2017 - Fire Mountain!

I bound it with some stripey fabric that has all of the same colors...I did not make continuous binding since I wanted more control over the placement of the stripes so I had to learn a different method of creating the miters - there are videos out there for a Binding Miter Tool (but I just used the corner of an envelope) that show the technique. I think it turned out very well!



Made a ZipZap bag for a Tea I am going to at the end of the month. Pattern is here...I did modify it a wee bit - I made the back pocket full length so my cell phone fits better..I am pretty happy with how it turned out! Those quarter inch straps though...those were hard!  Oh...and I did not use canvas, so the seams were not quite as bulky. I like this bag design in that it does not need 'hardware' for the straps..the other bag I made last year has lobster claws and rings...but it also attaches to my jeans belt loops for a hands free mode!

This is the front of the bag..added a silver dogwood blossom to the zipper...


This is the back of the bag..the pattern has the back pocket only as long as the color part in the center...on mine, the pocket goes all the way down to the bottom...



Thursday, January 05, 2017

More Fire Mountain Progress

I asked the same question in my last post to my quilting forum and got some tips on how to keep the Monopoly from breaking so much..I ordered a package of Superior Top Stitch needles and they came in the mail today (love Amazon Prime!!) So OF COURSE, I had to try one out...
Verdict..they are worth the almost 2 bucks per needle!

Pretty much done with the center of the quilt...just need to ditch around all of the appliques. That may not take as long as I think with the thread not breaking anymore.
Here are some hopefully detailed enough shots that you can see the quilting....




Poor quilt needs a bath..cat fur and chalk marks.
Oh and I discovered something else...I am using Grabberoos quilting gloves and was having a dickens of a time with the Monopoly sticking when I trimmed the start threads. Found if I used a lint roller, the trimmings came right off. Have to remember to pack that for both of my Road classes which are going to be FMQ...

Monday, January 02, 2017

Fire Mountain Progress

Spent most of the day working on Fire Mountain..I took all the old hand quilting out, replaced the batting with Dream Cotton instead of the poofy wool and started FMQ on the top..its stabilized...and I have started on the leaf vine in the green areas...


much happier with the quilting now..
but..frustrated with the machine..it keeps breaking the Monopoly...

Question...what does it mean when quilting with a FMQ foot when the top thread does not catch and form a stitch with the bottom thread? I have tried adjusting the tension and that seems to help some...fortunately it seems to mostly happen at the start of a line of stitching..